The NeuronFarm, a developer of web-based applications that aim to improve reading comprehension, has released a new online program designed to help educators build lifelong reading skills in diverse groups of middle-school students.

Called 3D-Readers, the program teaches students research-based reading strategies that can be applied to any text across the curriculum to improve reading comprehension. 3D-Readers combines original narrative and expository texts with a blend of verbal and visual reading strategies that include interactive visualizations, question generation, and constructed responses to open-ended questions. The company says its new instructional tool is intended to help students understand and analyze more complex texts by learning and refining their use of these strategies.

The colorful characters that populate the texts seek to engage students and hold their attention. To further enhance the pedagogy, 3D-Readers provides immediate feedback to students through a proprietary technology that instantly scores students’ responses to open-ended questions. Students enjoy receiving this instant feedback, and educators easily can monitor students’ progress through the program’s management system, the company says.

The first release of 3D-Readers offers 10 modules on science topics based on national standards and reviewed by content experts. Future modules reportedly will be available on additional science topics, as well as language arts and social studies. The program’s cross-curricular approach helps educators teach reading comprehension skills in traditionally “tough-to-teach” subjects, the company says.

A Starter Pack includes access to 10 modules for 30 students for one full year at $600. Educators will receive a $100 discount on orders placed before Aug. 15.

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